Arena Premier Inn - Cladding Upgrade

Leeds, UK

Clegg was appointed by Whitbread Group plc on behalf of leading hotel chain, Premier Inn, to undertake extensive external works to the Arena Premier Inn in Leeds – a high-rise building that was to remain fully operational throughout the works.
The key objective of the £2.5m project was to upgrade the existing aluminium strip cladding, which was no longer fit for purpose or compliant with new fire regulations.


The scheme saw Clegg undertake the stripping back of the building’s cladding to substrate, the design and installation of new steel and masonry supports, followed by the application of new, compliant cladding to the building fa├žade.

Site Challenges

Upon removal of the existing cladding, we discovered that the inner blockwork skin of the external walls required stabilisation measures before the recladding phase of works could begin. We collaborated with the client’s structural engineer to incorporate new blockwork strengthening channels to secure the blockwork substrate.
The hotel remained fully operational throughout the duration of this major refurbishment project, with the considerate planning and sequencing of works key to ensuring the comfort and welfare of guests, who were checking in and out on a daily basis. We liaised closely with hotel staff and the wider project team to minimise the impact of works, ensuring that all public access and egress points from the car park and the building remained free from obstruction.
The hotel’s city centre location – situated in close proximity to the popular First Direct Arena and student accommodation residences – is a very busy area in terms of vehicles and pedestrians, with careful planning around logistics and safety measures helping to ensure the safety of the public. Pre-scheduled, ‘just in time’ deliveries were restricted to after 9am to avoid key commuting periods and reduce storage space, with route maps and site plans are sent to suppliers in advance to keep the presence of vehicles on site to a minimum.
The project took place during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, with the works carried out throughout the successive lockdowns. We helped to mitigate infection spread via adherence to both government and client-specific guidelines, including social distancing as well as regular toolbox talks delivered to all site staff.


Services included a new power supply for CCTV and the installation of uplighters to the hotel’s external signage.

Environmental and Social Value

Prior to the commencement of works, an environmental assessment was undertaken to establish the constraints and issues to reduce the impact of the works on the local area. In addition, a survey of the building was completed with examination of the existing cladding materials for the presence of asbestos-containing materials, and none discovered.
We worked with Premier Inn to secure multiple hotel rooms to use as a site office and welfare facilities, which was instrumental in helping to keep carbon emissions to a minimum.